If you haven’t yet had the chance, please read my review of Coachella 2010 day one… All caught up? Alright, let’s get going.
After a very packed Friday at Coachella, in terms of music AND people, we had originally planned on getting to the polo fields a little later on Saturday. The first act we wanted to see didn’t even go on until 3 p.m., but despite leaving a little bit later, the parking wasn’t nearly as bad and we made it there around the same time. Being a 3-day only festival this year, there were a few differences from past years. The most noticeable difference was that instead of three separate tickets for the whole weekend, you instead redeemed your one ticket for a wristband that you wore for all three days.
Another difference is that because of the wristband, they were allowing ins and outs. In past years, if you left, there was no getting back in, so you had to make sure that you were ready to leave.
In my review of day one, I mentioned our re-usable water bottles. We had purchased these last year too, but this year, unlike almost everything else, it was a bit more organized. Basically you would buy the bottle and then bring it back as many times as you wanted for “ice cold” (their words, not mine) Arrowhead water. While last year, you had to wait in a long line each time you wanted it filled, this year you just entered one of two refill tents, where they had 15-20+ coolers of “somewhat cold” Arrowhead water inside, and you filled it yourself. Or, like we did, filled it and drank it immediately, and then filled it again.
Since we got there earlier than we expected to, we decided to go check out John Waters. Yes, THAT John Waters, the film director. We had noticed when the line-up first came out that he was going to be there, but didn’t know what he would be doing. Well, he was actually quite entertaining. His 50 minute set was just him on stage, talking… telling jokes and stories. It was a great relaxing way to start our second day.
After that, we headed over to the Mojave tent where we wanted to get a good spot for Camera Obscura, and Beach House after that. For the second day in a row, we had to sit through a country act to do that. This time it was Shooter Jennings, the son of country legend Waylon Jennings. By the time Camera Obscura started, we had been able to get really close to the stage. It was probably the closest we got to anyone all weekend.
Camera Obscura has been one of my favorite bands for the last few years. In fact, my wife and I included one of their songs on the CD that we gave out at our wedding. They were one of the bands that made it out of Europe, even though the volcano that had erupted in Iceland had grounded several others. This was another one of my favorite sets of the weekend, and I was glad that we finally got to see them in concert. They did all of my favorite songs.
Beach House was up next, but we were starting to get a bit smothered up by the front, so we worked our way to the back of the tent. We got to hear about the first three or four songs. I really like Beach House, and they sounded about the same as they do on their new CD.
After taking a little nap, laying by the Outdoor Stage, we listened to some of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and then made our way to the Gobi to watch Danish indie rock group The Raveonettes, who were another band affected by the volcano. Luckily, the main duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo were able to make it, even though their backing band was not. It didn’t seem to affect the show too much though. In fact, I think it made it even better, with them simply performing as a two-some. My wife and I had seen them a couple of years ago at the Fonda in L.A., with the full band, but I actually preferred the stripped down Coachella version much better.
Now, two of my favorite bands of all time were both playing on Saturday… Hot Chip, who are one of my favorite recent bands, and the reunited Faith No More, who are back together after spending the last 10 years apart. And of course, because they were the bands I wanted to see the most on Saturday, they just HAD to be the only two bands that overlapped for us.
We decided to check out Hot Chip first, who were performing at the Outdoor Stage. Luckily they played most of the new songs that I wanted to hear before we had to leave. We had seen them at Coachella in 2008, in the Sahara tent. I much prefer seeing them in a smaller venue than one of the main stages, but they still put on one of the best performances of the weekend. We hadn’t heard them do anything live from their newest CD, One Life Stand, so that was nice.
But after 5 or 6 songs, we headed across the polo field to the Coachella Stage to watch Faith No More.
This was what I was looking forward to the most. I had been a huge Faith No More fan in the 90’s, and even saw them in concert several times back then, but that was a long time ago. They had broken up in 1998 and I never thought they would get back together again. But last year, they did just that, starting with shows at festivals in other countries. Since lead singer Mike Patton almost always appears at Coachella in some form or another, I knew they’d be on this year lineup.
I originally thought we’d miss about the first half of their set, we lucked out and only missed their first song. Watching them, I felt like I was a teenager again. This was one of my top five acts of the weekend. The band played the hits that people would want to hear (“Epic,” “Midlife Crisis,” “We Care A Lot”) and cover songs (“Reunited,” “Ben”) like they had always been known to do. My only complaint was that they were only given 50 minutes. I hope that they will eventually come back to L.A. and play a proper club show at some point. I know the normal length of their reunion sets has been about 2 hours long.
After killing a couple of hours where we had nothing to do but use the wi-fi in the KROQ tent and eat cookie pie (like a pizookie at BJ’s but without the ice cream, and served by the slice), we finally made it to our last act of the night, which was Sia.
Cookie pie is a yearly “must have”
It’s no secret that I’m a big Sia fan. I’ve written about her more than anyone else here at Cuter Than Pie. My wife and I had seen her at Coachella in 2008, and were excited to see her again. Even though she had been getting over a cold, as she pointed out on twitter, she still put on an amazing performance.
Like LCD Soundsystem on Friday, she has a new CD coming out soon, so she played several songs from that, including her new single “You’ve Changed.” But, she also played a lot of her older material, including fan favorites “Breathe Me” and “Buttons.”
After Sia performed, we headed back to our car, worried about having a lot of traffic like the night before. But luckily we got out of the parking lot within 20 minutes. And by the time we got to the end of Saturday night, we couldn’t believe that two full days had already passed. All that was left was Sunday, our final day.
Read about day three next Tuesday…